Entrepreneurship Initiatives for Student Affairs Divisions

Considerations for Programs to Promote Student Entrepreneurship and Incubate Student Businesses

Topics: Student Experience, Student Affairs

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Universities encourage students to develop innovative business ideas through business plan competitions, entrepreneurship courses, entrepreneurial living learning communities, and student-run business incubation programs. Although colleges of business and engineering typically operate entrepreneurship programs, centralized university divisions (e.g., student affairs, research administration) increasingly offer these programs to promote interdisciplinary collaboration. This brief profiles the methods nine research universities employ to encourage students to develop business ideas.

  • Key observations from our research:

    1. Business incubation programs support and prepare student-entrepreneurs to develop new ventures.

    2. University-wide entrepreneurship centers or college of business-housed entrepreneurship centers typically operate relevant programs.

    3. Entrepreneurship-focused living learning communities inspire interest in new venture creation within a cohort of undergraduates.

    4. One to three professional staff members typically operate business incubation programs.

    5. Market programs through email, campus signage, and social media; face-to-face participant recruitment is reportedly most successful.

    6. Appropriate program success metrics include the number of program participants and the number of entrepreneurs involved in programs.

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